Fees for architecture students at Leeds Metropolitan University are to balloon by 65 per cent from next year
Prospective architects joining the course next year (2010/2011) will be expected to pay £3,312 in tuition fees – a huge increase hike from the £2,000 shelled out each year by the university’s current intake
The Leeds School of Architecture, Landscape and Design, which moves into newly-built premises designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley (pictured) this summer, has been one of the cheapest courses in recent years.
The low fee regime was the brainchild of the university’s departing vice-chancellor Simon Lee – a move which had succeeded in boosting numbers across all the departments.
Yet Tony Rees, the architecture school’s group head, does not believe the hike will affect interest in the school.
He said: ‘We have no informal evidence to suggest that candidates applied to the course because of the low fees.
‘The fact that Leeds is a lively city with a large student population would appear to be more influential in student choice plus the fact that we still interview and that candidates like what they see in the course when they visit.
‘For next year our entry requirements will be a minimum of 300 A2 points (three Bs) or the equivalent.’
However Tom Potter, a Part 3 student who is currently working at healthcare specialists P + HS fears the increase could have an impact on students further down the line and discourage the support of local practices.
He said: ‘At post-graduate level many students already have jobs in practice, and some are lucky enough to have their fees covered partially or fully by their employer.
‘The increased fees are carried by those practices which have been willing to patronise their students. In the current climate that may put off other practices from following suit.’
He added: ‘It almost seems redundant to complain of rising student debt because it is so frequently heard that people just stop listening.’
A spokesperson for Leeds Metropolitan University said: ‘Governors at Leeds Metropolitan University have made a unanimous decision to increase fees to the level charged by almost all other universities, which will be £3,312 for full-time undergraduates for 2010/11. For clarity, this does not affect current students and will apply to new students who start courses in 2010/11.
‘Leeds Met has a long and proud tradition of widening participation, and the increase enables us to introduce a generous and innovative bursary scheme which offers support to students who traditionally don’t enter higher education, and also increases each year to encourage achievement and progression. The increase will also enable us to continue to enhance the quality of the student experience. Details of the bursary scheme will be able in due course.’